The Qur’an is the Whole of the Shari’a

March 7, 2015 No Comments »

Imam Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin Musa bin Muhammad as-Shatibi al-Gharnati al-Andalusi al-Maliki {May Allah have mercy upon him} said:

“The Qur’an is the whole of the Shari’a, the support of religion, the fount of wisdom, the sign of Prophethood and the light of the eyes and the heart.

There is no way to Allah except through it and there is no salvation by any other means than it. You must not hold to anything that contradicts it.

None of this needs affirmation or deduction because it is known to the deen of the Community.

Since that is the case, whoever wants complete knowledge of the Shari’a and desires to perceive its aims and be joined to its adherents must necessarily take the Qur’an as his constant companion and make it his intimate, night and day, in both investigation and action…

If he is able to do that, he will soon have students and find himself among the Front-runners and in the first rank. He will not be able to do it without being helped in that by the Sunnah which clarifies the Book and, following that, the works of earlier Imams and the pious predecessors, which will guide him in this noble aim and lofty purpose.”

{Kitab al-Muwafaqat fi Usul al-Shari’a, Volume 3, pg. 247}

‘The Imam was going to name the book Ta’rif bin Asrar At-Taklif. =

“An Introduction to the Mysteries of Accountability Before the Divine Law.”

He then changed his mind and named it Muwafaqat’.


NB: The above is not to be taken in a literal “Quranist” type of way (i.e. as a rejection of Hadith), but rather in a metaphoric and poetic sense – like in the hadith:

The Prophet’s (peace be upon him and his family) wife, ‘Aisha (Allah be pleased with her), was once asked to describe the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family), and she replied that he was “the Qur’an walking”.

So the claim that “The Qur’an is the Whole of the Shari’a” is simply a way of emphasizing that the other sources of Shari’a are connected to the Qur’an and supplementary to it and dependant on it and so on. [Muwatta Admin]


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